Sometimes I feel like I’m always running late, regardless of when I have to be up, or how much time I have at my disposal to be ready. For example, the other day my boss asked me to work a double shift. “No way,” I told him, “I hate working.” OK, I didn’t say that exactly, but I still said no. Not taking no for an answer, he countered “OK fine,” he told me, “How about you can come in at noon?” And I was like, all right, fine, that sounds doable.
And I started planning out how the day would go. I’d wake up at eight-thirty, get like three blog posts done, take my dog Steve for a long walk, make a nice breakfast, maybe even get some reading done. Let’s do it!
The next thing I know my cell phone alarm clock is blaring at the periphery of my consciousness. I’m trying to get out of bed but my body is completely unresponsive. My cell phone alarm is so loud, so grating. I don’t know if everybody is familiar with the iPhone alarms, but I always use the one that sounds like the red alert from Star Trek. It’s intense. But it’s the only one that even stands a remote shot at waking me from a deep sleep.
What happened? Eleven o’clock already? Jesus. I usually wake up a lot earlier. I barely had time to get up, shower, shave, and then take the dog for a walk before I grabbed my bike and pedaled to work at a pace I usually reserve for outrunning taxis I’ve accidentally bumped into in traffic. OK, that’s not really true. I don’t outrun taxis. I just got a little carried away with the length and dramatics of that sentence. Although I did love Premium Rush.
But still, I was right on the verge of being late for a shift that I was already told to come in late for. I really was biking to work a lot faster than I usually do. For the first time in the better part of a year, I had left the house without so much as putting a morsel of food in my mouth. More importantly was coffee, or the lack thereof. Brewing and waiting and sipping, it was all completely out of the question.
I made it on the floor of the restaurant literally at the very minute. And I’m not one of those guys to throw around the word literally. Like I actually punched in and it said 12:00. I made it to work and the floor manager sees me and goes, “Finally! Rob’s here. Where have you been?” That deal that the general manager made with me? That whole thing about working a double and then telling me to come in at noon? Did we seal the deal some kind of a secret handshake? Because he didn’t tell anybody else. So I had to explain myself to the other managers, telling them I actually wasn’t late, but even when I hunted down the GM, “Right?” I asked him, “Remember you said I could come in at noon?” “Right …” he had that look on his face, like I might be making it all up, like he couldn’t really pinpoint the agreement I was talking about.
The day is over. I made it through. I just can’t get over the fact that, with two extra hours added to my day, I wound up being later than ever, later than I am on a regular day when I have to be at work at my regular time. I missed breakfast, I missed coffee, and I didn’t get to write anything. My whole day at work was thrown off balance. I was having what I assumed to be a lack of caffeine induced headache, even though normally I don’t believe in those. And I was starving. I was starving and serving people delicious, delicious lunch. It was torture.
When did I become so dependent on coffee? I never drank coffee in college. I don’t even remember when it became this habit. I honestly don’t know how I got to the point where I need three cups of coffee just to feel like myself in the morning. That’s kind of crazy, right? But tons of adults drink coffee. Maybe I’m more of an adult than I’m letting myself admit. You know, aside from the whole almost being late to work at noon thing.